Pediatric Respiratory Alkalosis Treatment & Management

Updated: Dec 22, 2019
  • Author: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM; Chief Editor: Michael R Bye, MD  more...
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Medical Care

Care in patients with respiratory alkalosis is primarily directed to the underlying etiology.

Respiratory alkalosis is rarely life threatening. Direct measures to correct it are usually unnecessary and often may not work unless the underlying cause is treated. The prognosis relates to the underlying pathology.

Respiratory alkalosis encountered during mechanical ventilation may be corrected by reducing the rate or the tidal volume or using sedation and paralysis (if it is caused by patient-triggered ventilator breaths).

Patients with hyperventilation syndrome may be immediately relieved by rebreathing into a small-volume paper bag; then, the physician should address treating the patient's psychological stress.

Drug therapy for respiratory alkalosis is directed toward alleviation of the underlying causative disorder.